Rom 1:1-7, Greeting and benediction;
Rom 1:8-15, Desire to visit Rome;
Rom 1:16-17, Theme of the letter: the Gospel reveals the righteousness of God;
Rom 1:18-5:21, Justification and the righteousness of God;
Rom 6:1-8:39, Sanctification and the righteousness of God;
Rom 9:1-11:36, God’s righteousness and Israel;
Rom 12:1-15:13, Practical Application of God’s righteousness;
Rom 12:1-21, Filled with the Spirit for service, not conformed to the world but to God’s will;
Rom 13:1-14 Be subject to governing authorities, to love, and to the Lord Jesus Christ;
Rom 13:1-14 chiastic structure:
1a) Rom 13:1-7, Be subject to the governing authorities;
1a) Rom 13:1a, Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities;
1b) Rom 13:1b-2, Whoever resists authority resists God/ will bring judgment on themselves;
1c) Rom 13:3a, For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil;
central axis) Rom 13:3b, Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;
2c) Rom 13:4a, For he is God’s minister to you for good;
2b) Rom 13:4b, But if you do evil, be afraid/ he is God’s minister to execute wrath on evildoers;
2a) Rom 13:5-7, You must be subject also for conscience’ sake/ render to all their due;
1b) Rom 13:8, Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law;
1c) Rom 13:9a, For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment;
central axis) Rom 13:9b, Are all summed up in this saying: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself;”
2c) Rom 13:10a, Love does no harm to a neighbor;
2b) Rom 13:10b, Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law;
2a) Rom 13:11-14, Be subject to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul is telling us that the saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” summarizes the Ten Commandments, half of the commandments in fact, for the commandments that he quotes are from the Ten Commandments. In other words, the Commandments define for us what loving our neighbor looks like.
This is important, because today people come up with their own definitions of “love.” The churches who are ordaining homo[s-x]ual clergy argue that homo[s-x]ual “love” is included in the definition of love. Is that right? If that is right, then the word of God contradicts itself by saying that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, we know that those churches cannot be right in their definition of “love.” How does Paul know that homo[s-x]ual “love” does not come under the definition of love? He got that idea from books which contain the commandments, the five books of Moses known as Torah.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Pro 14:12). We cannot be trusted to come up with our own definitions of right and wrong, love and hate; it will not be true. But God who is Love has defined love for us. When Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor (Mat 22:37-40), He wasn’t giving a new commandment outside of the Ten Commandments. As Paul instructs us in Romans, He was merely summarizing the Ten Commandments.
The Law of Love:
|Love God||Love your Neighbor|
|1. Have no other gods before God;||6. You shall not murder;|
|2. You shall not make idols to worship;||7. You shall not commit adultery;|
|3. You shall not profane the name of YHVH;||8. You shall not steal;|
|4. You shall honor the Sabbath day to keep it holy;||9. You shall not bear false witness;|
|5. Honor your father and mother;||10. You shall not covet.|
So yes, we are to obey the law of love today, but how do we know what love is? The Ten Commandments tell us. The rabbis even say that the entire Law, 613 commandments, are summarized by the Ten; and a study of the books of Moses will confirm that this is so. This is why Jesus can say that on the two greatest commandments all the Law hangs (Mat 22:40).
Therefore the Ten Commandments are our guide, so that we may be sure we are truly walking in love and not in some man- made idea that is not love in God’s sight.